This past weekend, we discovered that Danielle has done something very disturbing.
She decided, with the help of a friend, to carve the name of a boy she likes into her flesh. This happened a few weeks ago, it seems. The cuts have already healed and the scars appear to be permanent.
I have no idea what to say or how to respond to this. We left Danielle in respite for some additional time so we could figure out what we should do.
I see this as hugely unfortunate for Danielle, even though the cuts are located where they would be covered by normal school and work attire. The marks will mean that she won't be able to wear certain types of revealing summer clothing, unless she wants to field questions about the boy whose name is carved into her skin. This will no doubt complicate her future love life, as I suspect every man with whom she becomes intimate will ask, "Who is x?"
What makes the situation even more sad is that she doesn't have a relationship with this young man outside of school. She is not allowed to date, and I wonder if the supposed relationship she has with him may be entirely in her head. He has not once called the house and asked to speak with her, and as far as we know, he's never asked for a visit with her outside of school.
We asked the question which would come to anyone's mind under these circumstances. Why?
Danielle had no answer. "I don't know," was her shrugged response.
She alleges that the cutting was done last semester, at her request, by another student while she was at school. Given that both girls are in the special program for behaviorally and emotionally challenged youth, I have my doubts. Still, I will notify the folks in charge of her program as soon as I am able, even though I think it would be a difficult feat for Danielle to have managed. I suspect that she did it when she was spending the night with a friend. We've since learned (by way of a separate incident) this friend's mother has a substance abuse problem, and the supervision has been lacking.
But the damage is already done.
In addition to the school, we will notify Danielle's new therapist. We are also going to try to track down the boy's parents, as I think they should know what's going on. Although I don't expect them to really do anything, I think they should be aware of what's happened.
If I were parenting a so-called "normal" kid, I would want to know.
It seems as though some of my worst fears are coming to fruition. I've always worried that Danielle would start to make choices that would affect her life in the long run, and this is certainly one of them. Granted, this won't make as serious an impact as going to jail would, but it seems she's starting to make choices that aren't necessarily good for her future but that have permanent repercussions.
We found the young man's profile on a social media site, and he claims to have a girlfriend.
Her name is not Danielle.
Today Is A Gift
5 days ago